San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, Engineering Economy, and Industrial Engineering
25.73.1 - 25.73.10
A Multi-Disciplinary and Multi-Institutional Approach to Prepare Industrial Engineers to Respond to Future Energy ChallengesAbstractThere is a world-wide necessity to increase energy efficiency, finding new alternative sources ofenergy and assessing the environmental impacts of new renewable energy technologies. Demandfor professionals with sustainable energy knowledge is increasing, as employers need graduateswho can better respond to energy challenges in all professional and business contexts. Thisdemand will also create green-collar jobs in the industrial sector and in new technology fields. Inlight of these crucial needs, three universities from Texas and one university from New Mexicounited efforts to create a regional network of researchers to advance knowledge in renewableenergy research and education. This paper introduces the BGREEN (BuildinG a Regional Energyand Educational Network) project and shows how industrial engineers at the differentparticipating institutions will benefit.BGREEN is a multi-disciplinary project which promotes collaboration among differentuniversities, colleges, departments and a federal agency, the United States Department ofAgriculture. This type on collaboration is fundamental since the scale and nature of energychallenges requires expertise from a wide variety of disciplines. It has been found that multi-disciplinary approaches to research and education are essential to understanding and resolvingcomplex environmental and social issues. Through BGREEN, students will experience that mostreal problems are not defined within a single domain but they cross disciplines.This paper highlights the education component of BGREEN and shows how industrialengineering departments can broaden and strengthen their research areas through the type ofmulti-disciplinary research performed under this project. The paper also shows how theBGREEN model can be easily replicated at other institutions.
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